Oklahoma State @ Maryland
Maryland stormed back late in the second half to steal a win away from Oklahoma State 71-70. Melo Trimble made two free throws with under ten seconds to play to seal another late nail bitter win for the Terps. Jawun Evans of Oklahoma State made an off balanced floater, but it was after the buzzer had sounded. This game had the feel and energy of a tournament game in March.
Leading the way for Oklahoma State was star sophomore point guard Jawun Evans (6’1 185). Evans was a huge force in the first half penetrating the lane at will and putting himself and his teammates in positions to score. Evans also showed his quickness and pesky play on defense forcing Terps point guard Anthony Cowan into several turnovers. Jawun displayed why the NBA scouts may be keeping a close watch on him despite his lack of size. Not to mention his wingspan is reportedly over 6’4 and is quite noticeable. Evans fizzled off in the second half however only scoring six points. Cowan did a solid job guarding him and Damonte Dodd stepped up his pick and roll defense. Evans finished with 16 points, five rebounds, five assists and two steals.
Also making a huge impact for the Cowboys was junior small forward Jeffrey Carroll (6’6 215). Carroll had a massive impact on the boards. He seemed to have an instinct that only the great rebounders have. He was constantly around the ball keeping it alive or just corralling the board himself. On offense Carroll showed an ability to hit the corner three in catch and shoot situations, as well as put the ball on the floor once the defense over commits. Carroll still has some work to do with his ball handling and playmaking abilities, but he has a solid skill set to start from. Carroll finished with 15 points, 3 of 6 from three and a game high 12 rebounds.
Phil Forte III (5’11 195) struggled shooting the ball all night. He went 3 of 16 from the field, including just 2 of 10 from three. Forte did play some solid defense on Melo and others to contribute in a different way. Forte finished with 14 points, three rebounds and three assists.
For Maryland Melo Trimble (6’3 185) led the way. Trimble impacted the game with his veteran leadership and his defense that has vastly improved over the last two seasons. Trimble’s shooting woes continued from three going 0 for 5 on the night. Melo’s shot looks good and has consistent form it just still isn’t falling for him. When Melo struggles from three he just drives the lane and does what he does best. He may be the best penetrator in the country. Trimble finished with 13 points, six assists and four rebounds.
The Terps received unexpected contributions from a couple of role players on the night. The most impactful in the second half was junior guard Jaylen Brantley (5’11 170). Brantley provided a much need spark when Maryland was down 60-48 late in the second half. He was in the game while Melo was taking a rest and the Terps erased a twelve point deficit and took a lead 61-60. Brantley made several key jumpers and even attacked the rim where he drew contact on several occasions. Brantley finished with twelve points and two rebounds.
The other impactful player for the Terps was senior center Damonte Dodd (6’11 250) or also known as Doddzilla. Dodd was a force in the paint on both ends of the floor. On offense he crashed the glass hard, getting five offensive rebounds. Dodd mainly scored off of very close range lay ins or put backs. His offensive game is still very limited and raw. On defense Dodd was a nuisance to anyone who dared to come in the paint. He altered many shots and finished with three blocks. If Dodd can consistently provide this effort and impact for the Terps that will vastly help balance their perimeter heavy attack. Dodd finished with twelve points, eight rebounds and three rebounds.
This game provided positive signs for fans of both teams. For Oklahoma State it showed that they can compete in a tough road environment. They just need more work on how to put away an opponent on the road, which is easier said than done. For Maryland it showed that they will never give up no matter how dim the situation may seem. The question for Maryland is how long can they live on the edge like this?
Up next for Maryland is a home game vs Howard on Wednesday.
Up next for Oklahoma State is an away game vs Tulsa on Saturday.